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Photo: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

Ever wondered how your friends' divorce could impact your own relationship? Recent findings unveil a startling connection between social circles and marital stability, revealing just how contagious relationship outcomes can be.

According to research cited by Forbes, the company we can significantly shape the trajectory of our own marriages.

Couples who count friends among their ranks that have undergone divorce face a staggering 75% surge in the likelihood of their own union unraveling.

This effect reverberates through social networks, with even those distantly connected to divorcing couples experiencing a 33% increase in marital risk.

In Australia, where the bonds of community and social networks run deep, these findings carry profound implications.

Michael Tiyce, an expert family lawyer at Tiyce & Lawyers, offers valuable insights into the impact of social networks on marital resilience.

"The notion of ‘breakup season’ or ‘cuffing season’ underscores the contagious nature of relationship outcomes," he said.

"The experiences of those within our social circles can inadvertently prompt reflection on the health and stability of our own unions."

Here are Michael’s key recommendations for fostering a resilient relationship amid social pressures:

1. Foster Open Communication: Establish a foundation of transparent dialogue, allowing both partners to express their thoughts, emotions, and needs freely.

2. Honour Individual Perspectives: Acknowledge and respect each other's unique viewpoints and aspirations, fostering an environment of mutual understanding and growth.

3. Identify Areas for Improvement: Reflect on areas where your relationship could benefit from enhancement, and collaboratively devise strategies for positive change.

4. Practice Active Listening: Cultivate the art of active listening, demonstrating empathy and validation for your partner's feelings before expressing your own.

5. Cultivate Empathy: Seek to understand your partner's experiences and emotions, fostering empathy as a cornerstone of mutual support and connection.

6. Prioritise Quality Time: Carve out dedicated moments for shared experiences, nurturing your bond amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.

7. Embrace Professional Support: Be open to seeking guidance from relationship professionals when faced with significant challenges, recognising the value of external perspectives and strategies.

"By following these steps, couples can create a foundation of trust, communication, and mutual support that allows them to healthily examine and nurture their relationship over time," Michael said.

"Relationships are dynamic and require ongoing attention and effort, but with dedication and open-mindedness, couples can cultivate a relationship that thrives and flourishes."



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